Paying for School

My ongoing adventures in life and the pursuit of more...

Module 1: October 2011

Day 0.5  Arrived to the University last night to begin my two week module for a Masters.  Got to my room around 10:30 and met a couple fellow students.  Discovered from conversation there was another set of books and assignments of which I was completely unaware.  Note to future self - don't reply to emails without actually reading them first.  Fired up laptop, found email from August, read, despaired.  Up 'til 2 a.m. reading textbook loaned by fellow student who apparently reads his emails and their attachments.

I used yesterday.  I'm not proud of it but I did.  2 cups of coffee.  Not even good coffee.  I'm a whore.

Will report of first of day actual class later where I will be heard to say in front of the class, "No, you didn't get an email from me with my assignment for today that was due a week ago, your records are correct."

Working on plan to check off item from university bucket list.  Friday night I'm sneaking a girl into my room.

Class starts in 2 hours...

First session is behind me.  This was the class I didn't read the email for and so didn't have read the textbook or do the paper that was due before the start and worth 20% of my grade.  I probably wouldn't be happy if I wasn't starting from some kind of hole.

Introductions all around this a.m.: ourselves, our program, our profs.  We're a diverse bunch and thankfully I'm not the oldest student in the room.  But I'm also definitely not the youngest.  I confessed my fear of being found out to be a poser and being sent back to undergrad school.

It's mostly a room full of introverts with some of us who enjoy occasional moments of extroversion.  This will make getting to know each other very interesting.  And really, really slow.

Class #1 was all about the Story and coming back to the Text as it was written, or maybe better to say, as it was read and heard.  The prof is someone I really respect.  I didn't even know he was going to be here (remember that email i never read?) but I've read one of his books and was very impressed.  This morning he's introduced some big ideas and started this process of recovering the Story or the Text rather than the texts.  Seeing the big picture rather than all the little pieces we've broken it down into over the last few hundred years. This perspective raises a lot of big questions for me, good questions, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.  Now I just have to finish a couple more books, write a few papers and type up my notes within the next 24 hours.

to be continued...

Pen.  Check.
Paper. Check.
Everyone else taking notes on their Mac books.  ...
Essay to turn in.  Check.
Prof doesn't ask for it.  Check.
Forget book that class is discussing.  Check.
Forget book that everyone is sharing a quote from and discussing.  Check.
Sit in warm sunshine and listen to people discuss interesting and important ideas and know this feels good.  Check!

Just finished a book tonight and the follow up 3 page report on the book.  I'm so tired I'm afraid to look at the paper again in the light of morning to find out that nothing I said made even remote sense.  I could be wrong but I think I can feel my brain cutting some new channels and forming some new pathways.

Or it could be a stroke.

Good night.

This morning's session was our "Modern Basket Weaving 101" or whatever course you've taken that required no books, no prep and therefore would be so easy you could sleep through and get an "A".  I went to "Spiritual Direction" prepared to hear some lovely sounding words about prayer and growing deeper with God thru prayer.

3 hours later I'm left shattered.

Lorna, the prof, led us in a simple Ignatian exercise on gratitude followed by a little Lectio Divina.

Basically silence punctuated by the slow reading of a piece of Scripture, in this case a Psalm.  We listen to the Pslam and then we listen for God to speak to our hearts through a part of that reading.  Silence.  Then it is slowly read again and we listen some more.  Silence.  Then we share what we feel like we've been hearing or we pass.

I'll be honest and admit I went into the exercise with extremely LOW expectations.  Through the exercise it seems that God has chosen to finally talk to me about something I've been yelling at him about, whining to him about, pleading with him about, giving him the 'silent treatment' about and generally pestering him about with no result.  Suddenly God whispers to my heart convicting words, strong words but words full of a love so hot that it melts my stony heart.

I could spend the rest of the day pondering what happened to me this morning.  Instead I'm off to an afternoon of Narrative Theology and getting my mind blown while my heart is exposed.

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